Judaism features

Why number eight has a special role in the search for happiness

By Rabbi Daniel Rowe, October 21, 2016

In 2006 an Israeli post-doc, Tal Ben Shahar, broke Harvard University's record for having the most popular undergraduate course in its history.


When a temporary shelter gives us our best hope of security

By Lord Jonathan Sacks, October 13, 2016

Of all the festivals, Succot is surely the one that speaks most powerfully to our time. Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) could almost have been written in the 21st century.


Become an angel for a day - by fasting on Yom Kippur

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, October 6, 2016

Can you picture a photograph of yourself as an angelic young child? One in which your face bursts with innocence and excitement.


Stuck with luck

By Devorah Baum, October 2, 2016

Instead of congratulations, Jews tend to wish each other "mazeltov" - "good luck" with the emphasis on "good". Fortunes, as Jews know only too well, can be easily reversed. Luck is a dicey concept.


Horn of Plenty

By Jessica Weinstein, October 2, 2016

It is one of the most recognised sounds in Jewish life. And, whether dedicated shul-goers or three-times-a-year types, we all stand to attention when we hear it. I am talking, of course, of the sound - so familiar at this time of year - of a very special animal horn, the shofar.


Take a deep breath for Rosh Hashanah

By Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, September 29, 2016

On a hot summer's day at the end of August, I climbed mount Hohliecht. I was on holiday in Switzerland with family and friends. Rising 2,168 metres above sea level, it took four of us more than three hours until we could even see the summit. As we neared the peak, I remember being very focused on my breathing.


Sometimes words aren't enough to capture the meaning of prayer

By Rabbi Samuel Landau, September 22, 2016

Allow me to introduce you to Rosie (not her real name). Rosie is a funny and engaging young woman whose favourite food is macaroni cheese. Interacting with Rosie can prove challenging as she has learning difficulties and is limited in her verbal communication.


Dining Bible-style: quail and crispy caramel-dipped locusts

By Rabbi Dr Natan Slifkin, September 15, 2016

When we think of traditional Jewish cuisine, what normally comes to mind is gefilte fish and chicken soup. But if we look at the Bible, we see a far broader range of creatures that feature on the menu. Chickens don't appear in the Bible at all - they hadn't yet been brought over from India - but a host of other species are described as being kosher.


The fiery furnace I witnessed on 9/11

By Rabbi Roderick Young, September 8, 2016

Terror is becoming a daily news item. In the past year we have seen major attacks in Belgium, France, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the USA. There have been many smaller attacks in countless other countries.


Birth of a new tradition: Masorti ceremonies for same-sex couples

September 1, 2016

To any observer, it will look like a Jewish marriage service: the chupah, the sheva berachot, the breaking of the glass.